The Cannon Connection

Staff Information & Updates 11/18/13

From The Principal's Pen...

Last week was an exciting week at Cannon! Our guests, both from in AND out of district that visited our campus last week, were very impressed with the work we are doing and they provided lots of positive feedback and compliments. We are excited that the campus that visited from Irving ISD is interested in partnering with us, as they go down the STEM journey at their campus as well! Additionally, representatives from a STEM campus in Arlington ISD, came to observe our PLC's in action on Friday! They shared with me that this experience provided them a wonderful opportunity to go back to their own campus and redefine their own PLC's. of all, our first Family STEM Night of the year was a HUGE success!! It was very well attended and it was so exciting to see our scholars so engaged, alongside their families, in hands-on engineering & inquiry-based investigations. Many parents commented to me on how much they enjoy having these opportunities to see not just WHAT their children are learning, but also HOW they are learning. Kudos to ALL staff for a job well done! Your hard work and dedication to our scholars and school vision does not go unnoticed!

I know all of you are looking forward to another great week with scholars, followed by an opportunity to have some time to just relax and enjoy family time during the Thanksgiving holiday! Each of you are such a blessing to our school and scholars - I am so grateful for all of you! Enjoy your holiday break!!


At the recent Elizabeth Parry conference that several of our staff members attended, the topic of FAILURE was length. Ms. Parry asked the simple question: "When kids fail in your classroom, what do you do?" Unfortunately, this idea of failure has had a negative connotation as it relates to school...and really in society, for the most part. She emphasized the importance of providing experiences for our kids to do just that actually experience failure. She stressed that it MUST be part of the process, when we are working with our scholars. If we want our scholars to become confident problem solvers, who aren't afraid to fail and who know how to positively recover from failure, we must ensure that we talk about this topic with them. As we think about the Engineering Design Process, this opportunity to "fail" is truly inherent, in the process. Please take a moment to watch the following video about reframing failure...Let's keep teaching our scholars what it means to fail, revise, and improve. These are the characteristics of the type of problem-solvers our society needs, in the future, in order to help provide solutions for real challenges that lie ahead!

Reframing Failure as Iteration Allows Students to Thrive


Dates to Remember

11/18 Cannon 1:1 Presentation @ School Board - 7:00 pm

11/19 Round Rock ISD tours Cannon

11/19 Mandatory Staff Training - 2:45-3:10 Library

11/19 CEC - 3:15-4:00 Library

11/21 Reverse Evacuation Drill

11/22 PLC Week B - 3rd;4th;1st

11/25-11/29 Thanksgiving Break!

12/3 GMS Band Holiday Concert - 9:30 am

12/3 U.CAN - 3:00

12/4 PTA Exec.cMeeting 5:30

12/5 Grapevine Holiday Parade of Lights 6:00 pm

12/6 Kindergarten Field Trip to Lego Land 11:00-2:00

12/6 PLC Week A -Kinder;5th;2nd

12/7 First Lego League Robotics Team Qualifier

12/10 STEM Leadership meeting 3:00 - library

12/11-12/13 Cannon PTA hosts Santa Shop

12/12 Cannon Choirs Holiday Concert 5:30-7:00 pm

12/13 PLC Week B - 3rd;4th;1st

12/17 Staff Holiday Party - 3:15-4:15 - library

12/18 Building Gingerbread Houses w/ Dads - Kinder -8:30 - cafeteria

12/19 Campus Holiday Singalong - cafeteria 8:30

12/19 Early Release - 11:30

12/19 End of 2nd nine weeks

12/23 - 1/3 Winter Break!

1/6 Teacher Workday

1/7 Students Return


  • CHECK OUT THIS GREAT IDEA! Are you looking for a great way to get information about when paid App's are going to be offered for free or maybe even donated to you? Check out this great idea shared by Irene! She actually wrote to several of her favorite App companies and shared the following message. She has actually had some positive responses so far to her requests! Thanks for a great tip Irene!

Irene's message:
I love, love, love your Felt Board app. I am a kinder teacher and I currently have it installed on my iPad. I use it with my class in whole group situations. My campus is in its first year of a 1:1 iPad initiative meaning all kids have an iPad. Unfortunately, my school is also a Title I school and purchasing apps is not in the budget. With 40 students, the 2.99 price tag is out of reach for me personally as well. My question is... Will the Felt Board app ever go free for a day or even go for a reduced price for a day? I would love to make this app accessible to all of my students as I see many applications in all content areas.

  • SUBSTITUTE PLANS & TECHNOLOGY - Please remember that when you are making plans for a substitute, that you leave very specific directions about your expectations regarding student use of technology. If student iPads are going to be utilized during your absence, please remind the subs about the importance of active monitoring, not allowing students to openly search on the internet and/or utilize student email. Additionally, please ensure that you leave specific instructions for subs on how to access Safari Montage, in order to show morning announcements. If a substitute has a technology related question during your absence, they need to have contact information for Trisha and/or Sharon, in case they have questions or need support.

  • CELEBRATE TEXAS PUBLIC SCHOOLS VIDEO CONTEST- The Texas School Public Relations Association (TSPRA) is sponsoring a video contest, where schools are asked to create a one minute video that uses the theme: “Celebrate Texas Public Schools. Education. It’s BIGGER Here.” Schools can win $1,000 in prize money in one of the five categories: Elementary, Middle School, High School, Spanish and Education Foundation. If you are interested in participating, please submit your video to Tona by December 18th for review. These entries will be submitted to the district and one entry from each category will be selected and sent to the state contest. We have so many great reasons to celebrate our school, let’s let the entire state know of the good things going on at Cannon and GCISD! Click HERE to find the contest rules.

  • NEW TEXT MESSAGE FEATURE FOR PARENTS- All parents with a current cell phone number will receive a text message this week from SchoolMessenger, to let them know that the text message feature is now available. The text will inform parents of what they need to to do opt in, to begin receiving these messages. All staff should have received an email from me, explaining this process.

News From The Department of World Languages

Upcoming Dates for Elementary:

January 14: Details coming soon! This will be a required 1/2 day pull out training for all bilingual and dual language teachers. This will replace the collaboration meeting on January 13.

January 23: ESL Collaboration Session, 3:30-5:00, PDEC

Breakout sessions from the LAST Collaboration Session included:

  • Vocabulary Strategies for English Language Learning
  • New technology resources were shared and explored
  • New Spanish Literacy Curriculum was shared and explored
  • LPAC 101 training was provided for ESL teachers

February 3,4: ESL Certification training for those who desire a face to face training session prior to taking the exam. (sign up in Eduphoria; Principal approval is required).

February 20: LPAC Party! All 3-5 teachers new to the LPAC process should come and complete assessment LPAC documentation together with on-site support. (Admin Tech Lab)

For more information, contact


Great job tweeting about the great things going on at Cannon! Keep up the good work!

Check out some of the other staff tweets from last week!

Anne Ricci ‏@aricci113 Nov

Cannon 5th graders learning about the theme of a story and how to infer what the theme could be. @cancubs @tonataylor

The Land of Lollis ‏@cannonelemmusic15 Nov

2nd grade app download party on PLC day :-) @cancubs @Tonataylor @canmaestro

Deborah Highfill ‏@MrsHighfillArt15 Nov

@cancubs @tonataylor The 2013 GCISD holiday greeting card art contest is due MONDAY!

Trisha Goins ‏@heartinlife15 Nov

Teachers loving learning about #thinglink and #popboardz #gcisdtech #cancubs

Mandy Jackson ‏@MrsMandyJackson13 Nov

Life cycle of a pumpkin with #educreation. #cancubs #kindergarten @cancubs …

Irene Boynton ‏@ireneb201112 Nov

Kinders use @doodlebuddy and @bookcreatorapp to write and illustrate expository text. #cancubs #GCISD #layertheapps

Kamala Anderson ‏@Kaminash15 Nov

Using QR codes for an Addition and Subtraction Scavenger Hunt was a blast! @cancubs @Tonataylor

Sarah ganus ‏@SarahGanus14 Nov

Students teaching parents engineering at STEM night.

Cannon Fifth ‏@CannonFifth15 Nov

#Cancubs holding a gigantic anaconda skin!! @cancubs

Mrs Greuling ‏@mrsgreuling12 Nov

Let me check my #plan #STEM @STEM4th

TBlizzard ‏@Tonataylor15 Nov

Fantastic presentation at Cannon Elementary today! Always Be Curious! Thanks Andres! @georuzo @cancubs @gcisd

TBlizzard ‏@Tonataylor14 Nov

Family STEM Night at Cannon! Awesome evening of engineering experiences! @cancubs @CLO_GCISD @GCISD @robinryan_gcisd

Patrick R. Lollis ‏@canmaestro14 Nov

In 20 hrs elem music teachers connect globally on @edmodo !! @cancubs @DFA_GCISD @Tonataylor

Gail Marin ‏@gail_marin13 Nov

We love answering questions to demonstrate what we know using todaysmeet! @Tonataylor #cannoncubs

Anne Ricci ‏@aricci112 Nov

1st graders in Mrs. Anderson's class demonstrated the many ways to show the number 53. Way to go! @cancubs

Gypsy Mishoe ‏@GypsyMishoe12 Nov

@MeganPettit22 awesome presentation on student blogging in the primary grades. You must post it! #gcisdtech

Cannon PTA ‏@CannonPTA12 Nov

This Thursday 11/14 from 5:30 to 7pm head to Cannon Elementary for Family STEM Night! Visit your scholar's...

STEM 4th ‏@STEM4th11 Nov

@Cancubs Learning on the turf at UNT! @Tonataylor #sustainability

STEM 4th ‏@STEM4th11 Nov

You should hear the questions from our @cancubs scholars! So proud of these thoughtful engineers! @Tonataylor

Catha Maples ‏@CathaMaples23h

Cannon STEM Night scholars design drums

Judy Hockenbrough ‏@JHockenbrough16 Nov

The students have learned so much about the first Thanksgiving #cancubs @tonataylor

Luvina Subia ‏@SubiaLuvina14 Nov

At Family STEM night. What an awesome turn out! #cannoncubs

Deena Crawford ‏@MrsCrawfordSSS15 Nov

Andrés Ruzo from National Geographic talking about geology with our 4th and 5th graders :) #cancubs

Denisa Marshall ‏@denisamarshall22h

Joshua loves to play the guitar with Ms. Cheryl, our Music Therapist. @cancubs @tonataylor


  • Set a timer and turn in attendance by 9:45-10:15 daily. We STILL have 4-5 teachers each day that forget to do this on time!
  • Rock an awesome lesson with technology during the Round Rock site visit to Cannon!
  • Mandatory training for ALL teachers on 11/19 in library from 2:50-3:15
  • CEC meeting in library on 11/19 3:15
  • Remind parents to participate in the district Parent Survey.
  • Completeupdating teacher & student iPads to iOS 7
  • Tweet throughout the week to share the great work going on @ Cannon!